Student Showcase

Student Showcase 2023

31st Annual Student Showcase

From carbon to choreography, our students at the University of Arizona are performing industry-leading research. The Graduate and Professional Student Council created the Student Showcase in 1992-93 to celebrate this student research, and this year was no exception!

Over one hundred and fifty students participated in this exhibition of undergraduate and graduate scholarship demonstrating the wide spectrum of University student research projects. Student Showcase offers students a significant forum for communicating the importance of their research to the broader University of Arizona community.

Implemented in 1992-93 by the GPSC, Student Showcase represents a campus-wide student-run research exhibition at the University of Arizona. Students who participate in this event can be proud of their efforts and academic achievements. Demonstrating the valuable research that takes place at the University, Student Showcase also has the honor of including state representatives and many other community members as judges

    Note that the categories are topic dependent, and does not apply to which academic area you are from. The categories are self-select, but the GPSC committee retains the right to decide on which category you should be in. 

    Previously, over $15,000 was awarded in prizes to graduate and undergraduate students in a wide variety of disciplines and cross-disciplines.

    Traditional Categories

    1. Communication and Expression

      • Research that involves compilation, analysis, and manipulation of data, ideas, and/or methods of sharing information. (i.e. media, citizen science, pedagogy etc.)
    2. Community, Culture, and Society
      • ​​Research regarding social, economic, cultural and/or political issues. (i.e. community initiatives, language development, social justice, public policy etc.)
    3. Technology and Innovation
      • Research producing advancements or novel techniques/methods, or entrepreneurial endeavors. May incorporate engineering of devices or utilize digital/computer technologies. (i.e. app development, software/hardware, digital humanities, innovative startups etc.)
    4. Human Health
      • Research impacting the well-being of humans at the individual, community, and global levels. (i.e. healthcare policy, mental health developments, medical devices, insects as a form of protein etc.)
    5. Environmental Impact
      • Research confronting environmental issues and concerns, anywhere on the local to global spectrum. (i.e. sustainability projects, natural disasters, pollution mitigation etc.

    Sponsored Awards

    1. Katheryne B. Willock Library Research Award

      • Win $1,000 for telling us how you used the library for your research! The annual Katheryne B. Willock Library Research Award recognizes undergraduate and graduate students participating in the University of Arizona Student Showcase who have made extensive use of the services and resources at the University of Arizona Libraries.
    2. BIO5 Innovator Award
      • The BIO5 Innovator Award recognizes one graduate and one undergraduate student exhibitor whose work best represents the goals of BIO5 in one of the following areas: multidisciplinary bioscience research; innovation in biosciences education; or entrepreneurship (bioscience technology transfer, new ideas for public/private partnerships etc.). These awards are provided by the BIO5 Institute at The University of Arizona. Each winner is awarded $350.
    3. American Chemical Society Women’s Chemist Group Award

      The Women’s Chemists Group of the Southern Arizona section of the American Chemical Society is promoting the role of chemistry in society. This award will recognize one or more female graduate students, who present outstanding research in chemistry or a related field. The winner is awarded $250

     GPSC was supported by the Provost's Office to also fund five new Special Award Categories

    1. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

      • Eligible research advances knowledge of or addresses issues that impact historically marginalized communities. Research could cover any of the following topics: health disparities, criminal justice reform, homelessness among transgender/gender non-binary youth, student experiences across gender, race, national origin, disability and socioeconomic status at predominantly white institutions (PWIs).
    2. Award for Community Based Participatory Research
      • Community-based participatory research is inquiry that is aimed at informing solutions to benefit the community, through collaboration with community members.  Community members can be involved in any of the stages of the process, e.g. determining the research question, deciding on inquiry method(s), data collection, analysis, or dissemination of findings.
    3. Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Award
      • Projects in this category should contain some component of research that focuses on gender and women's issues. These projects should have a long-term goal of advancing gender equality or the cause of women and girls.
    4. Sustainability Award
      • To obtain a sustainability designation, research must address issues related to the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and society. Content can relate to sustainable development in creating a healthy and thriving resource system for all; environmental issues, social issues applied to sustainable development such as human welfare, social equity issues or social/organizational/behavioral change; economic issues applied to sustainable development; discourse focused on the interconnection of world resources and the human condition from a long-term perspective; or content related to policy and communications issues applied to sustainable development.
    5. Cross-Disciplinary Research Award
      • This award recognizes student participation in research at the intersection of multiple disciplines or as part of a larger cross-disciplinary collaboration. Oftentimes, these projects are hard to categorize in a single area of study and involve the application of knowledge and expertise from multiple fields to develop solutions that will have broad societal impact.

    Traditional Category Awards

    Communication + Expression (graduate) First

    Deborah Ruiz

    MFA Studio Art - Illustration, Design, + Animation Emphasis


    Heather Gahler

    PhD Candidate, Communication

    Community, Culture, Society (graduate) First

    Kevin McBeth

    PhD Candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy


    Hyeonchang Gim

    PhD Candidate, Communication

    Human Health (graduate) First

    Shelby Ziller

    PhD Candidate, Epidemiology


    Brian Patrick Toner

    PhD Candidate, Applied Mathematics

    Environmental Impact (graduate) Tie

    Tshering Sherpa

    PhD Candidate, Geosciences


    Jake Dean

    M.A. Latin American Studies

    Tech + Innovation (graduate) First - -
      Second - -


    Provosts' Special Award Categories

    -   - -
    Sponsored Awards
    Willock Award   Tshering Lama Sherpa PhD Candidate, Geosciences
        Jake Dean M.A. Latin American Studies
        Shelby Ziller PhD Candidate, Epidemiology

    Bio5 Award

      Deborah Ruiz MFA Studio Art - Illustration, Design, + Animation Emphasis